The stories behind the headstones

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Baldwin, Ernest Mark

In 1928 Ernest Mark Baldwin, his wife Rita and their four sons moved to 6 ½ acres at 50-59 Showground Road Castle Hill. Ernest soon converted a hay-shed into a workshop where he did electric arc welding and a variety of repair and construction jobs.

Sadly son Lindsay drowned aged 9 but the other three sons Franklin, Maurice and Stanford, later joined their father in his engineering company. During World War II the business worked exclusively for the Department of Defence making fittings for munitions factories, subassemblies for Mosquito Bombers, finishing propellers for Navy Corvette ships and vessels for food production.

After the war they expanded their scope to include metal fabrication, especially steel pressure vessels and flameproof equipment. E.M. Baldwin & Sons commenced its pioneering work with flame proofed rail vehicles in 1963 and became the most innovative and successful builder of diesel locomotives for the sugar cane & mining industries.

The company became the largest employer in Castle Hill from 1968-1985 and also produced huge broad-acre agricultural tractors with up to 600 horsepower capacity. The business was sold in 1985 and moved to Rooty Hill.

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Mayor Bernie Mullane and Fred Caterson unveil
plaque at Cropley House during FESPIC Games
1977

Caterson, Frederick Douglas Claude

Fred Caterson was a Councillor for The Hills Shire from 1956-1959, and 1962-1990, serving as Deputy Shire President during the later years of his term. He was also State Member for The Hills from 1976-1990.

In 1981 Shire President Bernie Mullane suggested that the Gilbert Road Reserve should be renamed Fred Caterson Reserve stating that “no-one could question the dedication, effort and service given to this Shire by Fred Caterson. Councillor Caterson, the Deputy Shire President, has been closely associated with every aspect of the fine development which has taken place in this area. He has always been a keen advocate of proper recreation and sporting facilities for the people of Castle Hill and indeed for the Shire of Baulkham Hills.”

Fred was also involved with many community organisations, including The Hills District Historical Society which he co-founded with Bob Martin, becoming its first President in 1967. Fred later served as a very supportive Patron and was made a Life Member in 1988. He was awarded an Order of Australia in June 1991 for his services to The Hills community in which he lived for 40 years. Fred retired to Queensland during the 1990s.

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George Kentwell and son Aubrey in sulky near his
Castle Hill home Mount Pleasant

Kentwell, George

George Kentwell, born at Castle Hill in 1851, was the 10th and youngest child of John Kentwell and Elizabeth James. George married Alice Harrison of Cherrybrook in 1873 and their union produced 7 sons and 3 daughters. Wallace, Spencer, Bruce, Millie, Lily and Elsie are all buried in this cemetery.

Alice and George lived all their married life on the 50 acre property given to them by John Kentwell. It was on the north east side of Tuckwell Road opposite what is now Lynwood Place. Much of it remained virgin bushland with sightings of wallabies, kangaroos and koalas in the early years.

As a hard working orchardist George grew oranges, lemons, mandarins and stone fruits. He also grew fodder for his farm horse, sulky pony and cow and drove to Parramatta sale yards each Friday to sell his fruit and sometimes chickens, eggs, butter and flowers.

The couple’s first home was a simple one built from timber on the property. By about 1890 George had sufficient resources to build a new home made from bricks sundried and fired on the property by a Pennant Hills brickmaker. The house named Mount Pleasant had four main rooms with a verandah on all sides.

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Eric Mobbs presenting a trophy at the
Orange Blossum Festival 1985

Mobbs, George Eric (no headstone Anglican section C1)

George Eric Mobbs, known as Eric, was born 5 August 1899 at Parramatta. The family moved to a new weatherboard home at 194 Excelsior Avenue Castle Hill when he was one. His father George H. Mobbs was a member of the Excelsior Land and Building Trust that developed land in the area. George Eric was descended from convict orchardist William Mobbs of Mobbs Hill Carlingford. Another relative, Eric Arthur Mobbs (1891-1974) was a Councillor for Dundas.

George Eric worked as a nurseryman for many years and supplied G.J. Coles with cut flowers, especially carnations, until the 1960s. He was a Hills Shire Councillor 1956-1977 and successfully advocated that Council have a footpath tree planting program. On 7 July 1959 he and Councillor Wilson moved that Council hold a competition on the last Saturday of November 1959 for the best-kept footpaths within the Shire and was one of three Councillors on the sub-committee.

On 22 October 1960 Council combined the footpath and garden competition with a one-day festival at Castle Hill Showground. In 1969 Council combined the footpath and garden competition with the Orange Blossom Festival and it ran from 12-21 September 1969. Eric can take much responsibility for the origins of this annual event and the Shire’s reputation as “the Garden Shire”.

In January 1973 Eric was awarded a Member of the British Empire and on 27 September 1981 Eric Mobbs Reserve near Excelsior Avenue East Castle Hill was named for him.

Eric died on 10 December 1991 aged 92 years and is buried in an unmarked grave with his wife Evelyn Violet who died on 6 Nov 1990 aged 88 years.

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Arthur Whitling's first general store in Castle Hill
with tramway seat outside c1910

Whitling, Arthur

Arthur Whitling’s father George had been employed in 1878 as a coachman by Edwin Rouse. Arthur, born in 1878, lived with his parents in a specially built cottage on Rouse Hill Estate.

In 1886 George purchased a cottage on Windsor Road Rouse Hill and by c1890 had constructed a general store next door. This was run by Arthur and his mother Mary until his father ceased working for Edwin Rouse. In 1898 George purchased Aberdoon House and Arthur’s signature can still be seen on an internal wall.

In 1905 Arthur married Florence Gibbs and in 1940, 3 years after her death, chose Enid Nellie Black as his second wife. Both are buried with other family members in Castle Hill Cemetery.

Arthur was elected to The Hills Shire Council in 1908 and successfully lobbied to extend the tram from Baulkham Hills to Castle Hill in 1910. This terminated outside his new general store on Old Northern Road near the Chambers building he sold to Council that year. Castle Hill prospered with new subdivisions and in 1924 Arthur partnered two others to build a new general store opposite with bakery, post office and telephone exchange.

Arthur holds the record of our longest serving Councillor with 40 years’ service from 1908-1948, and Shire President for 19 years with the longest consecutive period being 1928-1941. Arthur oversaw the introduction of electricity to the Shire and the expansion of city water to residents. On 26 January 1989 Castle Hill Park was renamed Arthur Whitling Castle Hill Park

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Bernie Mullane as Shire President

Mullane, Bernard Anthony

Bernie Mullane was born on 21 October 1925 and moved to Baulkham Hills in the 1950s where he opened a pharmacy in 1958, the first in the suburb. The following year he was elected a Baulkham Hills Shire Councillor.

Bernie was Shire President from 1963 to 1983 and again from 1987 to 1991. Under his leadership the William Thompson Masonic School property was purchased and Balcombe Heights Estate residential housing subdivision created in 1976, new Council Chambers were built in 1982 followed by The Hills Centre in 1988.

In June 1972 he was made a Member of the British Empire and was on the January 1985 Australia Day Honours List being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia. The Bernie Mullane Sports Complex in Kellyville was named for him in recognition of his leadership and commitment to the community.

Bernie died on 4 February 2012 and was buried in the Roman Catholic section of Castle Hill Cemetery alongside his wife Margaret.